08/31/2012 - What We’re Talking About: The Week at USICH - August 27-31

USICH released a general newsletter this week which compiled news from federal agencies, national partners, and cities revamping their approach to homelessness. If you missed it, you can check it out here.

A Reminder of the Needs of Veterans Two Years After End of Combat Operations in Iraq

Today marks the two year anniversary of combat missions in Iraq, a milestone to be sure, but one that must remind the country of the needs of Veterans of that conflict as well as Veterans of previous wars. In Yuma, Arizona, the allocation of the city’s first HUD-VASH vouchers will enable Veterans in that community to have stable housing and access to coordinated supportive services for their recovery. The HUD-VASH program continues to expand to both more communities and to more Veterans because of its ability to stabilize vulnerable Veterans in the long-term. Since the revitalization of this program since 2008, over 47,000 vouchers have been awarded to communities across the country. 

USICH has created a toolkit to help communities think through the best ways to use this resource for Veterans, including how to improve program elements such as targeting, rapid lease-up, and project-basing. Access this toolkit here

LGBT Youth Homelessness

A leader in serving LGBT youth experiencing homelessness, Laura Hughes, the Executive Director of the Ruth Ellis Center in Detroit, shares her thoughts on the issue of poverty and homelessness among the LGBT community, particularly youth. Ms. Hughes shares the story of Crystal as an example of the intersection of a number of risk factors for homelessness: “race, child poverty, residing in a city mired in debt and able to afford little in the way of social services, and sexuality.” 

Read more from Laura Hughes here, and access more information about youth homelessness among the LGBT community. 

Medicaid Waviers and State Innovations

Medicaid reform continues to be on the minds of many states and local communities since the Supreme Court decision earlier this summer, and states are already beginning to redesign their programs to put a focus on high-cost, high-needs individuals. Two states in particular have recently worked on Medicaid waivers. New York was highlighted in our newsletter for their proposed commitment to supportive housing development fund. This week, Minnesota also released a Medicaid waiver that included reforms to improve community supports and housing stability for those experiencing or at-risk of homelessness that have high health care needs. Another portion of the waiver specifically mentions the use of Critical Time Intervention to help engage eligible individuals into Medicaid funded services and other housing programs. 

Read a summary of the Minnesota Medicaid waiver here

Learn more about Critical Time Intervention

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